Although Marshmello has proven his cross-genre appeal by topping the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and Pop Airplay charts over the course of his career, the producer scored a long-awaited first in 2023: a No. 1 single on the Latin Airplay chart for his unexpected hit with Manuel Turizo, “El Merengue.” The tropical single was the first new endeavor in a year full of them for the veteran producer, who on Nov. 3 will release Sugar Papi, his first Latin album and first full-length that features an artist on every song.
“I’ve always been eager to make a body of work [but] wasn’t sure when the right time was,” he tells Billboard News. “Sony Latin reached out to me and was like, ‘Hey, would you like to do a Latin album?’ I’d always wanted to tap into Latin music and it just seemed like a perfect time for us to knock out the album I’ve always wanted to do…It was a no brainer.”
Sugar Papi is filled with Latin music legends and rising stars, from Nicky Jam and Anuel AA to Young Miko and Tiago PZK. And while most songs are rooted in Latin rap, trap and reggaeton, nothing was off-limits in the studio, with Marshmello setting up sessions in Miami to meet with each artist. “I showed up in Miami to write this album and was like, ‘I don’t have anything prepared,’” he recalls with a laugh. “Part of my job, my main job, is on the spot creation.” That quick-thinking helped him and his collaborators finish the entire album in less than two weeks.
“I wasn’t just going to go and make this huge ‘every big artist in the world’ [project], I was just going to work with the artists that I vibed with,” he says, noting he was particularly fond of his sessions with Young Miko. “She just showed up and was so nice and humble, killing everything I’m showing her. In the vault, there’s two other songs that we did and it’s straight rave music, old ’90s like Eiffel 65…Crazy crazy vibes. There’s a lot of songs in the vault that could pop up. “
That wasn’t all that Marshmello had to say about what’s ahead, teasing more on the way. “I don’t know if I’ve said it publicly but I’ve been in the studio this whole summer writing a new album, kind of redefining what Marshmello is,” he says. “I just had some sessions recently where I had some Latin touches…I could definitely see a lot of elements that I’m learning [returning].”
Watch the full interview above.